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What Are Those ‘White Bumps’ On Your Face?

Do you have small white bumps on your face that look similar but feel nothing like pimples? Perhaps under your eyes? You may have gone as far as trying to pop one — not gonna happen. The little buggers are confusing, you may even be a bit worried. But here’s the good news: you don’t need to be freaked out by these un-poppable bumps — and they will go away. 

These tiny white bumps that can appear across the nose, chin, or cheeks are called milia. According to the Mayo Clinic, they occasionally may also pop up in other areas of the body, such as the limbs, gums, and even the roof of the mouth. While milia are most often found in newborn babies, they can happen to pretty much anyone at any age. You may be annoyed by them, but doctors say milia are nothing to be concerned about. They are totally benign and harmless, even in adulthood. 

They are simply caused by dead skin cells, keratin, or protein getting trapped underneath the skin. According to the Cleveland Clinic, milia do not require any treatment and they typically clear up on their own. Sometimes they take months to go away, and other times they vanish in a matter of weeks.

Although there is no known way to prevent milia, reports Medline Plus, if they bother you aesthetically or if they get irritated from rough clothing or sheets you do have the option of getting them removed by a dermatologist in a very simple, quick procedure. If you don’t want to make a trip to the doc, there are a few at-home remedies you can try, too. Healthline suggests gently exfoliating the affected area with a warm washcloth, steaming your face by spending time in a closed bathroom with the shower running, spritzing a bit of rose water ($7, Amazon) on your skin, or trying a Manuka honey mask (from $4.98, Amazon). 

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that removing milia is not necessary to improve your health, but you should do whatever makes you the most happy, comfortable, and confident. 

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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